If you run a start-up, you will probably have considered how partnering with other companies could help your business. You may even consider it a key goal to find the right partner.
There are many ways that successful partnerships can help your business. But there are also pitfalls that are best to avoid, and it won’t always be in your best interests to partner with a large established company simply because you can.
If you are considering a business partnership, it is worth considering exactly what you want to get out of it. Here are some of the most common benefits of partnering with other businesses.
Access to customer base
If you can identify companies with a similar target market to your own, it can open up new opportunities for your business to take on new clients – especially if your products or services complement theirs. Established businesses will already have a loyal customer base that you may be able to get in front of, and your association with a brand they know will help to build trust more quickly than you might with completely cold prospects.
Way into new markets
While there may be a lot of overlap with the sector you and a partner work in, you may each have client bases in different sectors. Working together, you’ll be able to move into these sectors more easily, as clients will already be warm and have established trust with your partner.
Expand geographic reach
As has become clearer and clearer over recent months, you no longer have to be physically present in a location to do business there, however some kind of physical presence can be comforting to customers and contribute to an easier sell. If you choose to partner with a business that is located elsewhere, it can open up the market in that area to your business.
There may be certain opportunities within a partnership to share resources. This could be a shared department or role that was too expensive, or technical resources that can open you up to new innovation.
Add value to your clients
As well as a new market for your own business, you will be able to offer your partners’ goods or services to your existing clients, possibly at a discounted rate. This can add value to your clients and help strengthen the relationship you have with them.
Finding the right partner
Once you have decided exactly what you want out of a partnership, there are some things you can do to help find it. To make yourself appealing to potential partners, try and get into peer-reviewed journals and attend trade shows and industry events where they might see your brand. It will only take a few positive interactions for someone to start to remember your name.
Similarly, interacting with companies you might want to work with on social media, as well as reaching out directly via email or a phone call, can help speed things along. Be honest about why you want to talk to them and try to identify a decision maker as early as possible.
When you are talking to a company you think would make a good partner, be completely honest and upfront about what you’re looking for and expect from the relationship. Good communication at this stage will make things much easier down the line if things do progress.
It is important to remember that both parties should benefit from a partnership and be honest with yourself about what you can offer. Understanding your own value will allow you to avoid being taken advantage of and will help you demonstrate to businesses why they should want to work with you.
If you are looking for a new partnership, or simply want to meet other business and get a taste for how you can work with them, coworking offers a great opportunity to network and collaborate.
A wide variety of innovative businesses use coworking spaces, and by their nature the spaces encourage interaction and collaboration. You could find your next partnership opportunity in the kitchen over a cup of coffee, or at a dedicated networking event for members.
Book a tour at SO Fourteen to learn more about the benefits we offer our members and how you can get involved with our community.